The Liberty men's basketball team stepped into Princeton's Jadwin Gym, Monday night, looking to avenge last year's 80-74 loss to the Tigers. Unfortunately for the Flames, Princeton capitalized from long distance, knocking down 10 three-pointers to garner the 65-47 decision.
With the defeat, Liberty falls to 5-7 on the season, while Princeton moves to 5-8. The Tigers are now 2-0 against the Flames.
Steven Cook paced Princeton with a game-high 16 points, followed by Spencer Weisz, who chipped in 13 tallies.
David Andoh and Theo Johnson led the Flames with 10 points, apiece.
Liberty shot 37.5 percent from the field (15-of-40), while the Tigers finished with 41.7 percent. The Tigers' 10 treys allowed them to outscore Liberty from the perimeter, 30-3. Despite forcing 14 turnovers, Liberty committed 21 in the contest, helping Princeton take advantage of points off turnovers, 27-11.
Averaging nine three-pointers coming into the contest, the Tigers displayed their long-range game early. With Liberty trailing by one (8-7) after a three-point play by Johnson, Princeton knocked down a trio of treys over a span of 2:44 to go on a 9-2 run.
Liberty responded with a 9-2 burst of its own, highlighted by six points from Andoh. After Peter Moller capped the run with a jumper, the Tigers posted their fifth three-pointer of the game to increase the advantage to four, 22-18, at 7:22.
The Flames knotted the contest (23-23) at 4:34 courtesy of two Moller free throws. Princeton outpointed Liberty 8-4 in the final minutes of the half, tacking on two more three-pointers to take a 31-27 lead into the locker room.
Andoh paced all players with eight points and five boards in the period. Princeton had four players finish with six points – Cook, Amir Bell, Weisz and Aaron Young.
Liberty finished the first half shooting 47.6 percent (10-of-21), compared to 44.0 percent (11-of-25) for the Tigers. Princeton knocked down seven three-pointers in the stanza, while the Flames managed one attempt from downtown. The Tigers took advantage of Liberty's nine turnovers, outscoring the Flames off miscues, 11-3.
Princeton took a 10-point lead at the 14:07 mark of the second half. Liberty climbed within four until Weisz's third trey of the contest at 11:40 boosted the advantage back to seven. The Tigers tacked on two more baskets and a pair of free throws to complete a 9-0 run. Johnson halted the hot streak with two tallies from the foul line, making it 53-42 with 7:53 remaining.
The Tigers continued to pull away in the remaining minutes, going up by as much as 19 en route to the 65-47 final.
Liberty returns to action on Sunday, playing host to Cincinnati Christian. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., with the contest streaming live on the Big South Network.